Archive for the 'idiocy' Category

Local Trade School Reinvents Wheel

FIXED FOR LIFE.

Yale University has gone off the rails.  First, they issue perhaps the campiest recruitment video in the entire world.  And now, they have literally reinvented the wheel.  This time, no spokes.

Want to ride my bottle opener?

Amazingly, the spokeless rear wheel is only half of the wonder this bike provides.  Personally, I’m more concerned about what Paul Bunyan is going to do when he realizes that the derailleur hanger is missing from his gigantic Diamondback.

Giant proto-hipster?

In conclusion, I’d suggest that the people of Yale continually look over their shoulders for a fast-approaching mythical giant riding a recently-converted Diamondback fixed gear.  I bet Harvard students don’t have that problem. Of course, as you will notice, they follow cycling conventions to the letter: both wheels are perfectly spoked.

Harvard education = don't bend the rules.

Although, I’d hazard a guess that this guy has something up his sleeve:

Don't trust him.

In (a second) conclusion, heed Mulder’s warnings and trust no one.  Wow.  This post is an incoherent rambling mess.  Is it Friday yet?

We are what we watch: YOUTUBE!

In Canada, all stock images of watching TV feature hockey. It's the law.

As avid cyclists, the one thing we like almost as much as riding bikes is watching other people ride bikes.  Ever since Mark Zuckerburg invented the internet, we’ve had an unending supply of videos to watch.  Thought I’m tempting to suggest that the kind of videos we watch reflect our personalities, I don’t think that’s always the case.  Based on my own experience, I might favour old-timey races and “classic” moments in cycling history, but I’m also likely to watch Vimeo trailers for track bike tours and bar spinzzzz.

Some videos appeal to almost all cyclists for one reason or another.  Usually it’s because the video represents something we can’t attain, either because we can’t go that fast, or because we can’t afford to take time off, purchase expensive clothes, and hire a camera crew.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Other videos are harder to watch.  For example, deep down we are troubled by fighting in cycling.  Though fodder for the “is cycling gay” debate, these altercations provide no real answers.  It is only when professional cyclists fight that we can truly witness ambition tempered by ability.  These men seem to want to hurt each other.  They just can’t.  I’m guessing they both had cyclist fathers who, tragically, taught their sons to fight in the same way: “Now son, remember to keep your arms straight, aim for the ears or the back of the head, complete at least one full spin, and for the love of God only close your fists when you get tired!”

Cycling fans, however, are another story.  Put simply, don’t fuck with them.

But what about taking inspiration from cycling?  What if we want to know why people race bikes professionally, but aren’t satisfied with the answer “because we get paid to. Why do you go to work every day?” Most importantly, what if we’re totally disappointed in the amount of cycling featured in Love Actually?

And then, of course, their are the videos that simply seem as if they were made for you alone.  In all likelihood, cycling is tangential to the video and it strikes at something deeper.  In this case, a dark, dark sense of humour.

Maybe we are what we watch, we just hate to admit it.

So, you rode home drunk. Now what?

Beer? Beer.

In recent weeks, we’ve learned that attempted murder by shooting a cyclist in the head (in front of his daughter, no less), will earn you 120 days in jail. On the other end of the spectrum, news from Germany informs us that riding your bicycle while intoxicated can lead to a 15-year ban from cycling altogether.

Treehugger is reporting that Christopher-Felix Hahn was charged with cycling while drunk after he rode home from a party.  He was given a ticket ($700, which he paid), and was then informed that he would have to undergo a medical and psychological evaluation because his blood alcohol level was 0.17%.  He would be charged an additional $700 for the test.  Because Hahn had no plans on acquiring a drivers licence, he ignored the notification.  He then received word that he was hereby banned from operating an unlicensed vehicle on the road for 15 years.  Yup, no more riding a bike.

So, shoot a cyclist in the US and spend the winter in jail.  Ride drunk in Germany and lose your bike for a decade and a half.  There’s something seriously wrong here.

So, you’ve shot a cyclist. Now what?

Asshole. And totally crazy.

Charles Alexander Diez, a North Carolina firefighter, is likely insane.  You see, a few months ago Diez was driving his truck along a busy street when he noticed a man riding his bicycle with a child on the back.  Diez became angry that the man was putting his daughter in danger, so he pulled over to air his concerns.  Not surprisingly, an argument ensued.  So concerned was Diez for that child’s safety that he pulled out his gun and shot the man in the head.  The bullet when through his helmet, but did not strike the cyclist.

Now, I don’t want to say that gun laws in the US are totally fucked (read: gun laws in the US are totally fucked), but Diez was recently sentenced to just 120 days in prison.  You read that correctly.  He shot at a man’s head with a child right beside him, plead guilty to “assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill,” and he will go to jail for 4 months.

Like I said, insane. And fucked.

EDITED TO ADD: Tuscon Bike Lawyer has a couple of posts on this topic.  Plus, he’s a lawyer.  His conclusion:

I often have to tell my clients that bicyclists are basically hated by a large segment of the public, and must not expect the same treatment by juries, judges, arbitrators, and insurance adjusters that a motorist would receive. If you get hit from behind while on a bike, for example, you are going to be declared to have swerved in front of the vehicle until proven otherwise. Not so if you are a motorist.

Brandon Walsh rides a bicycle, smuggles marijuana.

What Would Andrea Zuckermann Do?

If you thought that Zack Morris was the most famous former-teen-heart-throb turned cycling enthusiast, you were wrong.  It turns out that Jason Priestley is going to make a movie about Sam Brown, the 22-year-old Canadian mountain biker who smuggled marijuana into the states, got caught, and then committed suicide in jail.   This comes on the heels of another bicycle movie announcement: David Koepp is directing an action movie about a bicycle messenger.

In related news, I’m going to watch Rad over and over and pretend that nothing is happening.

A 93-page reminder: How London cops learn to ride

This guy must read fast.

They say you never forget how to ride a bicycle.  Well, that doesn’t mean that a 93-page booklet won’t refresh your memory.  The Guardian is reporting that London “bobbies” (that’s “English” for officers) can now rely on a hefty guide to teach them the ins and outs of riding a bicycle.  Important topics covered include: turning corners, avoiding curbs, braking, and remembering to eat and drink (I assume a second edition will address trackstands, colour coordiation, and the campy vs shimano vs NJS debate).

Boris Johnson, London’s super-mayor, who just recently pursued (on his bicycle) a group of local thugs harassing a noted environmentalist, questioned the cost of producing this guide.

You get on and you pedal.  It’s not rocket science.

Where the a-holes are: St. Catharines

Cars + rampant consumerism = no bikes

As major urban centres throughout North America are scrambling to institute infrastructural changes that will accommodate and encourage cycling, the brain-trust city council in St. Catharines is removing bike lanes that they just created. That’s right.  Apparently the bicycle lanes along a major east-west artery are causing traffic back ups and preventing easy access to…wait for it…Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart.  Councillor Len Stack went so far as to argue that the bike lanes were being removed because they were unsafe.

So, instead of making minor concessions (cycling advocates have proposed removing the bicycle lane for a short stretch to allow for a right turn lane), the city is going to scrap the lane altogether.

Oh, and doing so will cost as much as $65,000. I’m assuming the good folks at Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart will foot that bill?